The Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes, CCII, has lamented that no Ibadan indigene has been appointed the Vice-Chancellor of the University of Ibadan or the head of the University College Hospital, Ibadan.
CCII made the disclosure during a press conference held recently.
The lamentation of the council over the failure of the any Ibadan man to occupy the most revered seat at the Ivory tower is one out of many other issues raised at the conference which was tagged the marginalization of Ibadan
A statement issued at the conference on the Vice-Chancellorship of UI read in part: “While we, Ibadan people, may say that the lopsided naming of Railway stations on Ibadanland is the proverbial “last straw” that this time broke the silence of Ibadan people, the appointment of Vice- Chancellors at the University of Ibadan (U.I.) is another sore-point to which we hereby humbly draw the attention of all Members of the Senate, the Council, the Visitor, the Supervising Minister and the entire academic community of this great citadel of learning. The University of Ibadan established in 1948, sits on 2,550 Acres of land, released to the institution for 999 years by our fathers with a “Thank You” handshake, One Guinea (£1.1s) and a bottle of Schnap. By this year, the University of Ibadan is 72 years old and has produced 14 Nigerian Vice
Chancellors between 1960 and today but inexcusably, no Ibadanman has ever emerged as the Vice-Chancellor of the University. Out of the 14 serving and former Nigerian Vice-Chancellors of the University, (including Acting) Ten (10) are of Yoruba descent -7 Ijesha (Osun State), 2 Ijebu (Ogun State) and 1 Offa (Kwara State). The other four (4) from Prof. Kenneth Dike to Prof. Tekena Tamuno were from non-Yoruba part of Nigeria.
“A further analysis of this highly instructive record shows that the occupancy of the position of Vice-Chancellor of U.I. in the past 41 years (since the exit of Prof. Tekena Tamuno in 1979) and emergence of Prof. S.O. Olayide – Obokun-Ijesha man (Osun State), the Ijesha people have occupied the position for 24 years – 1979-1983, 1995-2005 and 2010-2020; Ijebu (Ogun State) for 12 years and Offa (Kwara State) for 4 years.
“We wish to draw the attention of the Federal Government of Nigeria and Nigerians to the fact that this neglect is not for absence of qualified Ibadan indigenes within the U.I system or in the academic circle of Nigeria to occupy the coveted seat of the Vice-Chancellor of the U.I.
“In the days of only one Deputy Vice-Chancellor in the top management cadre of U.I, Prof. Olusola Akinyele (an Ibadan Professor of Mathematics) was to take over from Prof. Ayo Banjo in 1991 but by sudden twist of military and political fiat, the opportunity eluded Ibadanland. Prof. Akinyele’s frustration and disappointment reached such a depressing level that the erudite Professor relocated overseas and never came back since then. In 1995, Prof. Wole Akinboade of Veterinary Medicine, another Ibadan man contested and again, it was opportunity lost. In nearby Obafemi Awolowo University Ile-Ife (OAU), Prof. Ayobami Salami, another Ibadan man and the Deputy Vice-Chancellor Academics (the No. 2 position in the OAU hierarchy) was a front runner in the race for the Vice-Chancellorship of OAU in 2017, but alas, it was again the ‘Akinyele treatment’. Thanks to the late Gov. Abiola Ajimobi who threw in a life line in appointing Prof. Ayobami Salami as the Vice-Chancellor of the state created Technical University which prevented another ‘Akinyele Experience’.”
The council then noted that four out of the ten Professors in the race to become the next Vuce Chancellor of the University are from Ibadan.
These four individuals are Prof. Remi Raji-Oyelade, Prof. Kayode Adebowale, Prof. Emiola Olapade-Olaopa, and Prof. Kolapo Hamzat.
The council then added: “It is important that we advise decision-makers in this race to be wary of Compus Political Jobbers as we hereby confirm that 1) all the four (4) candidates are bonafide Ibadan indigenes and 2) the Central Council of Ibadan Indigenes (CCII) or the Olubadan of Ibadanland has no anointed candidate out of the four (4) of them. Our singular goal is to see that the U.I Academic Community appoints that Ibadan man known to be best suited for the job with a view to taking the Institution to Harvard, Oxford or Cambridge level. In fact, we have some other eminently qualified Ibadan indigenes currently in Deputy Vice-Chancellorship positions who opted to defer their ambitions this time around solely to enable the University System throw-up the best Ibadan candidate in the current race.
“It is in the face of this revelations, that we Ibadan people in unison say that, be it in consideration of our land donation that gave birth to the University in the first place or the brilliant credentials of our sons as indicated above or as mark of equity, justice and fair play, we hereby humbly appeal to members of the University of Ibadan Governing Council, the Senate and other respected stakeholders of this citadel of learning to please work for the emergence of an Ibadan man this time around. We also appeal to the University’s Visitor – President Muhamadu Buhari, our Hon. Minister for Education, Mallam Adamu Adamu, the Committee of non-Ibadan former Vice-Chancellors of U.I. (all of whom received the support and cooperation of Ibadanland during their tenures and now wholesomely integration in to “Ibadan Family” after their tenures), our Hon. Members of the Senate and House of Representatives and all other stakeholders on the project to use their good offices to put a stop to this seeming reckless marginalization of Ibadan people on Ibadan land. In similar vein, it is also now 54 years since Ibadan gave large expanse of land to build the University College Hospital (UCH), still, no Ibadan man has ever emerged as the Chief Medical Director of UCH – this one again seems to be the exclusive right of the indigenes of Ekiti and Ondo States. Sincerely, these records call for caution even on the part of the beneficiaries.
“Despite all the above, everybody is aware of the trademarks of Tolerance and Hospitability of Ibadan people. All ethnic and religious groups, in Nigeria live in wisely assigned compounds on Ibadan land and there has never been ethnic or religious riot on Ibadanland. We do not want innocent oversight on the part of some Nigerians to cause disharmony between us and our Yoruba kinsmen but then this handshake is going too far beyond the elbow.”